Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
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Monday, March 11, 2019

Nem tsurik dayn gold (Take Back Your Gold) - a parody by - Yiddish poet Morris Rosenfeld!

Click for a larger view of this songsheet from Lider Magazin.

I was kind of surprised to see that the famous, serious poet Morris Rosenfeld wrote this parody.

 This is the third of the piano tracks Aviva Enoch made for me recently (thanks Aviva!). Here's our recording from this week:

In the original song, a boy tells his pregnant girlfriend he's going to marry somebody else, but here is some money for diapers. She indignantly rejects it and says, "all I want is for you to make me your wife."

Look at the great sheet music (click for a larger view). Look how cranky that pregnant girlfriend is.

Notice that both the original lyricist and the original composer are Jews. Do you think the composer Monroe H. Rosenfeld is related to our usually-so-serious poet Morris Rosenfeld?

Transliteration and translation from the Yiddish after the jump.

Nem tsurik dayn gold

An alter shoyte libt a meydl koym fun akhtsn yor
Er vert azh di kapore far ir blik
Er zogt ir tsu zayn gants farmegn, git ir op zayn stor
Un shpilt zikh op a khasene, mit glik,

Dokh in a vokh arum, oy vey! Dos vaybl brekht di hent:
"Vos hot fun mir gevolt der alter yold?"
Zi loyft arum un whilt un shrayt, zi volt im azh farbrengt,
Un shmayst tsurik in ponim im zayn gold:

Oh, nem tsurik dayn gold, dayn gold ken mir nit nitsn -
Vos toyg dayn raykhtum mir, dayn geld, dayn stok, dayn stor?
Du darfst nit mer keyn vayb - ikh vil bay dir nit zitsn.
Bafray mikh, bet ikh dikh, a dos iz, dos iz gor.

A man nemt durkh di bowery aleyn in mitn nakht,
Un filt zayn goldener zeyger tut a lof.
Er iz nit foyl un khapt dem ganev on mit gor zayn makht:
"Detektiv bin ikh, bruder, vey dayn sof!"

Der ganev veynt un shvert, az er hot nit gemeynt keyn shlekhts,
Di tsayt nor visn iz geven zayn meyn.
Er git dem zeyger op tsurik un tut a shvern krekhts:
"Oh nem dayn gold, un loz mikh, loz mikh geyn."

Oh nem tsurik dayn gold, kh'hob nit gemeynt, kholile!
Oh nem tsurik dayn gold un reyd derfun keyn sakh -
Un hob ikh shlekht geton, oy bet ikh dir mekhile!
Vel vayter kliger zayn, un mer farshteyn mayn fakh...

Men redt a yungn man a shidekh gor fun fayne layt
A bsule mit a gantse sakh nadan
Der shadkhn brent: "a shtelt a khipe, kh'lebn es iz tsayt...
"Git aylt, reb korev," zogt der yunger man.

Dervust hot zikh der khosn itst - im hot a fraynd gezogt
Az dizer shadkhn iz far im keyn plan,
Er hot dervust zikh, az zayn bsule ... oh zayn bsule,
Un iz ir moykhl shoyn ir gants nadan

Oh nemt tsurik dayn gold dos hot bay mir keyn puleh
Oh nem tsurik dayn gold - du darfst mikh shoyn farshteyn
Ikh zukh a shidekh, yo, dokh zukh ikh gor a bsule
Af fremde kvorim hob ikh faynt tsu geyn

An old blockhead loves a maiden barely 18 yers old.
He'll sacrifice himself for a glance from her.
He promises her his entire earnings, gives her his possessions,
And they get married, lucky day.

Naturally a week later, oy vey! The little wife wrings her hands:
"What does this old fool want from me?"
She runs around cursing and shouting, she'd like him burnt up,
And she throws his gold back in his face:

Oh, take back your gold, I can't use it!
What good are your riches to me, your gold, your stock, your store?
You don't need a wife any more - I won't stay here with you.
Free me, I beg you, that's all.

A man walks through the Bowery alone in the middle of the night
and feels his golden watch fly away.
He isn't lazy, he grabs the thief with all his might:
"I'm a detective, brother, rue the day!"

The thief sobs and swears he didn't have any bad intentions,
He just wanted to know what time it was.
He gives the watch back and sighs heavily:
"Oh, take your gold, and let me go."

Oh, take back your gold, I didn't mean it, God forbid!
Oh, take back your gold and don't say anything about it.
And if I did wrong, I beg your pardon.
From now on I'll be smarter and understand my craft better.

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:


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